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SHH Cult Subscriber
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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?

Missing since: 26 Apr 2009
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I honestly liked The Room more than I did Origins. I liked the story and I even liked the way it was presented (say what you will, I'm a sucker for memos). The concept of being stuck in the room as a hub world and the hauntings slowly turning your safe haven against you, it all really works imo. It was just the gameplay, enemies, level design, and dialog that made the game completely unplayable.

I still prefer that to the blandness of Origins, though. And maybe Origins didn't really go against the canon of SH1 in any meaningful way, but it's oversights still bug me, and I can't stand the goofy "i'm going to grin in delight as you fall over in pain" Alessa. Enough to consider Origins non-canon? Probably not. Enough for me to usually write it off in my head? Yeah.

Almost everyone involved in Origins more than made up for it later though, so it's not like I really care or hold any remaining anger towards this game or it's developers.


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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Ryantology wrote:
Are we even talking about the same thing? I got lost about a quarter of the way through that giant boulder of text.

Yes, we are. In poor words, all I am saying is that the stucture of the SH4 otherworld does not permit us to learn a lot about Walter. That's why we need the letters, i.e. because of what the developers were going for, they couldn't just alienate the letters and put some visual features inside the worlds.
Nevertheless, you could have at least bothered to read my post before commenting.

Kenji wrote:
The story didn't descend from Heaven and force the developers to mold a gameplay experience around it. The story, presentation, and gameplay were all equally malleable from start to finish, and it was the (addled) decisionmaking of those involved that produced what we got in The Room.

I know that. I never stated differently. I was just trying to explain the "why" of the story presentation within the context of the contemporary SH4.
Even though your interpretation is not completely supplemented, as to change the storytelling design it would have been neccessary to change Walter's Kingdom (a bit farfetched, don't you think?), thus insert, for instance, another cult wacko from Walter's past to screw with his plans and reduce his control, so we could get some direct info about his life, as he's no longer that strong to monitor his kindom, and by that making SH4 lose its originality.
What I'm simply saying is that to change SH4 from the start, as you say, it would mean changing the core of the game and it would no longer be The Room.

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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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mikefile wrote:
Yes, we are. In poor words, all I am saying is that the stucture of the SH4 otherworld does not permit us to learn a lot about Walter. That's why we need the letters, i.e. because of what the developers were going for, they couldn't just alienate the letters and put some visual features inside the worlds.
Nevertheless, you could have at least bothered to read my post before commenting.


You could have bothered to format it so that it was readable. Paragraph breaks are your friend.

And the reason the game has us learn about everything through memos is as Kenji described: a failure of concept. There could have been other ways, almost all of them better, of telling the story of Walter Sullivan. Hell, the game would not even have had to change that drastically, because Henry's entire trek through the Otherworld is doing what, if it is not revisiting places important to Walter's personal history? Who are the victims but people who had some measure of impact on his life at some past point (with the exception of Jasper). We even have Child Walter running around and making incomprehensible appearances here and there. All these elements should have been brought together.

The game fails even harder here because, by simply playing the game, it's difficult to get a grasp on just why these people are relevant. For that matter, you learn almost nothing of the past victims in the game at all, you have to read supplementary material outside the game for that, which is inexcusable considering how vital some of that information is to providing insight into Walter's motivations.

Since the entire game is, more or less, a journey through important places (all of them warped and contorted to represent a troubled child's fearful perceptions) and the meeting of important people, it is baffling that Team Silent did not make the logical decision of combining these two elements together to play out the story of Walter's past. We could have been introduced to Walter's character through his two personae separately and be left to determine as the game goes on that they are in fact the same person. We could have seen the nightmare of his childhood play out in front of us instead of being given dry accounts of it secondhand (which defeats the entire purpose of the Otherworld as far as I am concerned). That would have been much more entertaining to experience than finding notes under the door at pre-arranged times, and nothing about the story or gameplay would have to undergo a fundamental change in order for this to happen. What we got instead was sloppy storytelling, a whiff every bit as disappointing as the confused and directionless mess that was Origins, with the added insult that the story itself is actually very interesting if you overlook how flawed the delivery is. There's no good argument to the contrary.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Aug 2010
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You keep describing how the devs could have put some new imaginery during Henry's path and connect the "unmeaningful" cutscenes in order to alienate boring letters. And I repeat once again: within the context of the contemporary SH4 otherworld structure it is not possible to insert modifications that would make the storytelling any more meaningful, i.e. the problem is in the aspect of Walter's 'apparatus of power'. In very, very poor words, Walter does not permit any meaningful excerpt out of his kingdom. Therefore, no new connections or visual descriptions of the story can be applied (unless you change the core of the plot).

I invite you to (re)read my previous post, modified for the best of everyone's taste, even though I don't believe that the problem is in the paragraph brakes, but in your disregard of the facts I have clearly denoted.

Quote:
The truth is that the story presentation aspect in SH4 is somehow different from the rest of the titles. How? Two main aspects coexist in the otherworld. The first one is the aspect of 'dream'- the world ruled by the subject that manifests an ideal place, a wish that it is used to control something. However, the true, and more known aspect of the traditional Otherworld is the aspect of 'nightmare'. Someone's dream turned into nightmare. It is the 'nightmare' aspect that permits us to uncover the truth of the subject's life, rather than the 'controlled' aspect.

In Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3 the otherworld is ruled by Alessa. But in the same time we have Dahlia and Claudia influencing it. Therefore, in SH1, even though Alessa wanted to control everything as much as she could by repudiating Harry away, Dahlia was there to aggravate her every move, thus reduce her control and aggrandize the nightmarish otherword that would eventually defeat the girl.

In Silent Hill 2, the otherworld was rather controlled by nobody, as it regards the guilt machine system. In SH2, it is rather the town that equally controls each of the subject's otherworld.

In Silent Hill Origins it is Alessa, again, the one that completely dominates the otherworld. Moreover, it is a perfect example of how you don't learn almost anything during the whole game (by analyzing Origins from a microcosmical approach) about the subject, and by subject I refer to Alessa.

Silent Hill Homecoming illustrates a common otherworld, therefore, every aspect of every person's life is mostly described (this is the lazy storytelling if you ask me).

As much as it regards Shattered Memories I must disagree with you. Rip the cellphone out of Harry's hand and I believe that, till the end of the game, you'll have absolutely no clue about what the fuck was going on the whole time.

And finally, there is Silent Hill 4. It is surely a common fact that SH4's otherworld is very different from the rest. It is also one of the reasons why it is considered the black sheep of the series. The biggest reason of why it differes itsef so much from the others is because of Walter's greater control over the world unlike Alessa, James, Travis and the SG community. In SH1 we've got Dahlia screwing up with Alessa, in SH2 there's the most intense power of the town, SH Origins presents Alessa, uncovering every single piece of Travis' psyche, etc... In SH4 there's no one else to screw up Walter's dream world than himself. It's even logical by the Book Scrap principle: "Through the Ritual of the Holy Assumption, he built a world. It exists in a space separate from the world of our Lord. (…) a world only he can control.” It's oblivous that in SH4, except the eternal fraction of the town's power, it is Walter the boss of his world.

It is also why the "formal" name for SH4's otherworld is Walter's Kingdom, divided from Alessa's otherworld/otherside. Walter controls intensively his little Kingdom as there is no Caludia nor Dahlia to bust his balls. That's why we don't get much information inside the worlds, because Walter simply blocks it.

Even by Foucault's suggestion his victims are “the object of information, never a subject in communication” . And that's why we need Joseph and his letters. Joseph is, in fact, the previously mentioned 'nightmarish' aspect of the otherworld that eats away Walter's dream and control. The otherworld's homework is to make Walter's delusions come to life. And how better could it do it than by sabotaging his plan with letters, sent to us by a previous, more experienced victim. This also why we need Henry, the uninvolved observer as you say, driving the plot.

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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 15 Apr 2004
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Even with formatting, you're not making much sense. As Kenji noted, you're treating the story as if it were some unchangeable relic which the developers had no choice but to work around. You say that the nature of Walter's otherworld permits no other way of revealing the information. I disagree, but if we assume that you're right, then that aspect is a flaw which should have been changed during the planning stages because the result would have been he poor result we ended up with.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Aug 2010
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Ryantology wrote:
As Kenji noted, you're treating the story as if it were some unchangeable relic which the developers had no choice but to work around.
Exactly, but there is really no point discussing about how SH4 should have been as we would have no main theme.

Ryantology wrote:
(...) but if we assume that you're right, then that aspect is a flaw which should have been changed during the planning stages (...)

OK. That's your opinion then. But you can't delineate 'the flaw' as a final fact. For instance I bought the letters aspect, NanayaShiki bought the letters aspect as stated, and I'm sure there are many people here who will agree with the interesting storytelling of SH4. I mean, from my point of view, it really fits the whole game. Unlike the other titles, SH4 does not contain the straight forward visual design and the direct hardcore emotion manifestations that lead you to a very direct conclusion. Actually, it is more of a passive revolving of the story. And I appreciate the originality that the developers had produced.

Furthermore, from that point of view, even SH2 contains the bland, boring, senseless jogging around town and boring fighting mechanisms. And does this "flaw" make the game any less damn perfect?

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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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mikefile wrote:
Exactly, but there is really no point discussing about how SH4 should have been as we would have no main theme.


Wouldn't we simply have a slightly different main theme? I honestly don't understand some of the things you type sometimes. In any case, I firmly believe any story can be told in more than one way, if one possesses the talent and creativity and is willing to invest the effort.

Quote:
OK. That's your opinion then. But you can't delineate 'the flaw' as a final fact. For instance I bought the letters aspect, NanayaShiki bought the letters aspect as stated, and I'm sure there are many people here who will agree with the interesting storytelling of SH4. I mean, from my point of view, it really fits the whole game. Unlike the other titles, SH4 does not contain the straight forward visual design and the direct hardcore emotion manifestations that lead you to a very direct conclusion. Actually, it is more of a passive revolving of the story. And I appreciate the originality that the developers produced.


I think there are a lot of people who will agree that the game has a good story (and I'm among them). Maybe a lot don't really care how it's delivered. I do. Maybe I just have higher standards, but I expect a story told in a visual medium to rely on text from a backstory only as much as is necessary to enhance understanding. I do not expect that all the understanding comes via that method. It is lazy. There's no way around that. It lessened the experience.

In Silent Hill 2, James' story is revealed in conversations and through subtle cues, both visual and thematic. Practically none of it is told through memos or flashbacks. In fact, almost every memo in the game features information which is only indirectly important to what is going on. Rarely does any attempt to flesh out the core plot. It's one of the reasons the game is so great, and it raised the bar far above what Silent Hill 4 attempted.

Quote:
Furthermore, even SH2 had the bland, boring, senseless jogging around town and boring fighting mechanisms. And does this "flaw" make the game any less damn perfect?


Most certainly.

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Gravedigger
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 05 Aug 2010
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Ryantology wrote:
Wouldn't we simply have a slightly different main theme? In any case, I firmly believe any story can be told in more than one way, if one possesses the talent and creativity and is willing to invest the effort.

When I metion that SH4 is not malleable, unless from an adequately stretched modus that would change the core of the story, that is, Walter's desperate love for his fictional mother, so intense that installs a new aspect inside the SH universe: 'complete control', I refer to the importance of this innovative aspect for the Silent Hill series. Plus, the aspect of control is clearly a simple, rigid axiom, in a way that if you modify the smallest fraction of its characteristics you risk to modify the core, which is, in this case, the contaminated power caused by the excessive need for emotional stability.

But ok. I could somehow agree that it would be possible to alter some aspects sufficiently, not to cause severe damages for the plot, although, in my opinion, it is very farfetched.

Ryantology wrote:
In Silent Hill 2, James' story is revealed in conversations and through subtle cues, both visual and thematic. Practically none of it is told through memos or flashbacks. In fact, almost every memo in the game features information which is only indirectly important to what is going on. Rarely does any attempt to flesh out the core plot.
It's really not working when you compare The Room's storytelling with the others, because as I mentioned before, they are established on a very distinctive scale. As you can't really compare, for instance, some specific Shattered Memories aspects with the rest. Moreover, Joseph's letters also do not reveal much about what's going on, in a way that they don't explain the "how". SH4's evolvement can be analyzed from the combination of two sources: the letters- which give you the information about actual facts that were going on in the past, and the otherworld- the true interpretation of Walter's mind, this is the place in which you apply your previous knowledge about Walter's life. Look at it this way: Joseph gives you the history, but you must use this history to interpret what's going on, what's Walter really trying to do inside his kingdom.

I believe that the distincted tastes and different view on things are causing some difficulties in this discussion. So I'm going to leave the tastes alone for now, as from the slant of what is enjoyable or not. However, I don't agree that The Room did anything wrong from the storytelling point of view. I shall repeat again: that was the style of the game, as SH2 is a thematical and emotional symphony of minds, as SH3 a disturbingly direct presentation of the terrors of one's psychological strength, so was SH4- a passive, intense evolvement of one's frustrating need for internal peace.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 23 Dec 2009
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Alright, so remind me again how the 'summoning ritual' is apparently a plothole, or why you brought it up in the first place? I'm confused now.

I thought it was a retcon.

The original line had "magical" instead "summoning" and so (for me) that changed the nature of the spell and the context of the premise of the original Silent Hill. Though now I know that the magical spell was a summoning spell and that the change in dialogue was clarification.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Yea, summoning spells tend to be magical.

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Yea, summoning spells tend to be magical.

Most of the time yes, lol.

The only parts of Origins that I thought inane were parts of Travis's story when they seemed to take precedent over Alessa's story. I love the prequel given to Alessa's story, but honestly I could care less about Travis.

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I dreamed I lay in a dark valley and all around me were the titanic forms of archangels. I heard distant voices and I knew these supernatural warriors were chanting a litany...
"We are the Warriors at the End of Time. We are the lost, the last, the unkind. We are the Warriors on the Edge of Time and we're tired, we're tired... We're tired of making love..."


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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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AuraTwilight wrote:
Yea, summoning spells tend to be magical.

But not all magical spells are summoning. :)


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I think it's safe to assume a "summoning spell" involves magic of some sort.
Honestly, I think that what the Order calls "spells" and "magic" is merely the manipulation of Otherworld Laws at will to bring about a desired outcome. Claudia was shown to have a ridiculous amount of conscious control over the Otherworld, so I must assume Dahlia had even more power.

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I dreamed I lay in a dark valley and all around me were the titanic forms of archangels. I heard distant voices and I knew these supernatural warriors were chanting a litany...
"We are the Warriors at the End of Time. We are the lost, the last, the unkind. We are the Warriors on the Edge of Time and we're tired, we're tired... We're tired of making love..."


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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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I don't think Origins' canon status is that important, as the game doesn't add much to the Silent Hill mythos, either through Travis' story or Alessa's involvement. Whether it happened or not, what does it really change by its inclusion or exclusion?

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By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
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There's my heart..."


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Historical Society Historian
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It expanded on Alessa's story, Lisa's story, and the use of the Flauros, while adding Travis as a James-esque character. The game mostly just expands on things we already know, or we get to see and play through events that we have already known about. The only thing that isn't an expansion on a previously known event or character is Travis.

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I dreamed I lay in a dark valley and all around me were the titanic forms of archangels. I heard distant voices and I knew these supernatural warriors were chanting a litany...
"We are the Warriors at the End of Time. We are the lost, the last, the unkind. We are the Warriors on the Edge of Time and we're tired, we're tired... We're tired of making love..."


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The characterization of Alessa and Lisa are both at odds to their characters in SH1.

One thing Origins may add is the true origin of the Otherworld, as a manifestation of Travis' own mind that was then stolen and modified by Alessa for her own purposes.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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I like to think the Otherworld was always present, but that Alessa somehow tapped into its power or enhanced it in some way. The Native Americans certainly thought there was something mystical there, and if the Book of Lost Memories is an old book (I assume it is, since it talks about the towns history), then the Otherworld is indeed older than Alessa, since it is mentioned somewhat within the book. Or rather, the monsters are mentioned, and these are a product of the Otherworld.
Book of Lost Memories wrote:
And according to those who have seen them, there are also times when "things" that should not naturally exist appear.


Alessa's characterization was at odds with SH1, you are right. My real world explanation is that she was based on the movie's Alessa, but my in-universe explanation is that her rage was fresh and raw, since she had just been burned.

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I dreamed I lay in a dark valley and all around me were the titanic forms of archangels. I heard distant voices and I knew these supernatural warriors were chanting a litany...
"We are the Warriors at the End of Time. We are the lost, the last, the unkind. We are the Warriors on the Edge of Time and we're tired, we're tired... We're tired of making love..."


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 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 21 Jul 2003
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But Alessa wanted to die. "Let me burn."

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Canon or no?
     
         
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Missing since: 25 Jun 2008
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But Travis didn't allow her to burn, so rather than let the God be born, she decided to act, or so I surmise.

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I dreamed I lay in a dark valley and all around me were the titanic forms of archangels. I heard distant voices and I knew these supernatural warriors were chanting a litany...
"We are the Warriors at the End of Time. We are the lost, the last, the unkind. We are the Warriors on the Edge of Time and we're tired, we're tired... We're tired of making love..."


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Which begs the question of why she made an apparition to lure Travis to the house.

Maybe she just hates truckers and wanted to take one out with her.

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"I dreamt last night I saw you
A single spark explosion negotiating with the dead
By the bright lights in some ICU on my chest you put your head
and said "There you are.
There you are.
There's my heart..."


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